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to prohibit the f.a.a. from closing 149 f.a.a. contract control towers due to the furloughing of its air traffic controllers. senator moran is a member of the appropriation subcommittee on transportation. senator blumenthal a member of the transportation committee which both oversee the f.a.a., this is 20 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. thank you very much for joining us on a topic we have been engaged in for a very long time. as you may recall, we made an effort in the continuing resolution to make certain that the issue of air traffic control towers was addressed. the administration had announced the closing of more than 140 towers. we believe, i believe that that's contrary to public safety, and i certainly believe it's unnecessary for the administration to take the position that they are taking. and in fact the amendment that i offered, that we offered was designed to give them clearly the flexibility to avoid the closing of air traffic control towers. you may recall that i made the lea of secretary ray lahood to indicate his support for the amendment. he told me while he would l
. now i'll ask about the faa furloughs, which started yesterday. a group of almost the entire airline industry, including air traffic controller unions, flight attendants, pilot unions, and the industry itself, have written denis mcdonough and the white house a letter saying that the faa should be granted flexibility so they don't have to furlough the air traffic controllers. what do you say to this broad coalition? they say that other agencies have been given such flexibility and they believe the faa should have the same flexibility. >> let me give you some facts. the department of transportation is required by law to cut about $1 billion between now and the end of september; $637 million of that comes from the faa. the faa has initiated a series of cost-saving measures for personnel and non-personnel related, including a hiring freeze, restrictions on travel, termination of certain temporary employees, and reductions to contracts, among other savings. but furloughs cannot be avoided. seventy percent of the faa's operations budget is personnel. the faa must furlough 47,000 employees
had a loved one who has been injured. as of right now the faa has issued a temporary flight restriction over the area. the texas commission on environmental quality is providing air monitoring and technical assistance. texas task force one has been alerted to provide structural collapse support. the union pacific railroad has halted freight service. and local authorities have turned off utility service in the area including gas and electricity. there is an incident command center at a triage center, but they been recently moved due to fears that additional tanks could be at risk. theme, part of the department, has been activated and stands ready t assist texas upon request. the state fire marshal's office, the texas dps, the waco fire hazmat and other state agenes are also responding. the american red cross is working with local emergency management to identify shelter management assistance. we have within fema activated and incident management assistant jim, three preliminary damage assessment teams, and we are also standing by to assist in any other way. our eoc remains at
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